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NHS England to invest in digital maternity records

21/06/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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NHS England and NHSX are planning a £52 million investment for the development of online maternity records.

Hands cradling baby's feet

They are planning to give all women and relevant clinicians access to their maternity notes and curated information through a smartphone or other device by 2023-24.

The plan was highlighted at this week’s NHS Confederation Conference by Ruth May, the chief nursing for England, who said the organisations will work with maternity service providers, local maternity and neonatal systems, integrated care systems and suppliers to develop a platform.

“Midwives, GPs, and other clinicians caring for a pregnant woman will also have easy access to information, no matter where or when the mum-to-be is seen,” she said.

“Not only will this help improve the experience for women by reducing the burden of repeating information to each healthcare professional that they see throughout their pregnancy, but it will also improve safety.

“It will help us to ensure the best health and care outcomes by preventing important details from being missed.”

Gold standard

NHSX said that some trusts already have some form of digital maternity records in place but that the new system “will be the gold standard” with no variations in quality of platform across the country.

Women will also be able to choose to keep paper records.

The move is part of a commitment in the NHS Long Term Plan.

NHS England and NHSX have also appointed Julia Gudgeon as the first national digital midwife. She will work with NHS chief midwife Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent as a member of NHSX’s digital child health and maternity team.

Earlier this month NHSX published a market notice for support in a Digital Child Health and Maternity Programme. This includes a workstream to give women and their families access to curated information and their personal data.

Image from iStock, Liudmila Fudseyeva

 

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